The third victim of abortion

By Nathan Tabor

"There are two victims to every abortion, but only one survives."

This quote, frequently heard among pro-life advocates, acknowledges that every abortion produces both a dead baby and a wounded mother. Both are victims of violence and trauma. The baby's life is brutally ended and the mother's is emotionally scarred, at the very least.

But for every abortion there is also a third victim that gets overlooked most of the time. That victim is the father of the aborted child. Now I know that this isn't the politically correct approach, since modern feminists insist that abortion is all about the mother's body, her feelings and her choices. But I think we need to acknowledge that those potential fathers-to-be may have feelings, too.

I know of one case where a young couple was planning to be married. They lived a hard-partying lifestyle, and the pretty young woman got pregnant. But she didn't tell the father until several weeks after she had aborted the child. He was crushed and hurt and angry.

"I wanted to marry you," he screamed. "We were already engaged. How could you kill my child? Why didn't you even tell me?"

"I was afraid you wouldn't want me any more if I got fat," she replied. "Besides, what do you care? It was my choice. It doesn't have anything to do with you."

Her response was as telling as her unilateral decision to terminate the pregnancy. To her, the father was really just a sperm donor. He had no feelings and no rights. Why should he even care? The couple soon broke up, largely because of this conflict.

The cynical feminist view that sees all men as selfish, unfeeling louts is seriously flawed. And it is also logically inconsistent with the rest of the commonly accepted gender roles expected of parents in society.

Before birth, does a father have the same rights as a mother? Yes, if the mother decides to keep the baby. Together they make the decisions about where to live, what doctor to see, what nutrition plan the mother should be on, how they will divide the responsibilities after birth, and much more. Anticipating delivery, the typical father is deeply concerned for the health and safety of both the mother and child.

After birth, does a father have the same rights as the mother? Yes, assuming the couple is married, they make all the important life decisions together, such as what to name their baby, and where to send the child to school. It's hard to imagine a happier picture than that of a proud papa cradling his newborn baby in his arms.

Even where the parents are unmarried or divorced, the courts give certain parental rights to non-custodial fathers. They can spend time with the child, take trips, make decisions about the child's future - and of course pay out the money needed to support the child.

Does a father have to pay child support, even if he never wanted the child? Yes, and rightfully so. He made the decision to gratify himself sexually, just like the woman did. So why should she alone have to bear the burden of raising the child for the rest of her life? Some men really are unfeeling louts who don't care about their offspring, but the law still holds them responsible for the support of their children.

But what about the father who fervently wants his unborn child to live? Does he have the right to stop the mother from having an abortion? No. So, then, fathers have to pay child support, but have no say in the abortion decision. This is a glaring problem and it should be solved. Why shouldn't the mother just deliver the baby, even if she doesn't want to keep it, and then turn it over to the father, who does love it and who wants to raise it?

What will it take to right this injustice? Men will have to organize and demand that the laws be changed. The emerging Fathers' Rights movement may be very similar to the uphill fight of the brave women suffragettes who organized and won equal voting rights. (See the website, Also, this is a great site for explaining why the father is the victim.)

The radical feminists' lopsided emphasis on the mother's alleged right to choose has traditionally been counterbalanced by the pro-lifers' emphasis on the unborn child's inalienable right to life. To me, Life trumps Choice any day of the week.

But it's high time we gave some serious thought to the rights of the father, who really is the third victim of any abortion. After all, at least one-half of every child is the biological and genetic product of the father. That father may want to see his son learn to throw a baseball, or watch his daughter learn to dance. That father deserves a voice.